Cranberry is a berry fruit of the cranberry shrub. These berries are initially white, and they gradually turn a deep red, when they are fully ripe. The fruit of a cranberry is edible and has a distinctive acid-sweet taste. They are also very tasty and extremely beneficial to human health. Cranberries are native to cooler regions of the Northern Hemisphere, but they are commercially available all year round, in all parts of the world. Cranberries are often consumed as sweetened dried berries, or processed into juices and sauces. Cranberries are true representative of functional foods, owing to their health promoting and disease preventing properties. Therefore, a lot of people tend to consume organically grown raw cranberries, as they contain the highest amount of nutrients and antioxidants.
Nutrition facts on cranberry
Cranberries are rich in fiber and contain high amounts of vitamin C, and one of the most important dietary minerals – manganese. About 100 grams of raw cranberries satisfies 15.3% of recommended daily value for fiber, 16% of a daily value for vitamin C, and 7% of recommended daily intake for manganese. This fruit also contains other essential macronutrients in well-balanced amounts. Cranberry is rich in various polynutrients such as phenolic acids, proanthocyanidins, flavonoids, and triterpenoids. They are excellent antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-cancerous agents. Health benefits of cranberries
Cranberries are very much appreciated for their unique opportunity to cure and prevent urinary tract infections. For many years, scientists believed this feature is related to the strong acidity of cranberries. However, most recent investigations have found that cranberries contain unique compound that acts as a barrier to bacteria, preventing them to attach to the lining of the urinary tract. There is a chance cranberries could also prevent stomach ulcers and overgrowth of common stomach bacteria, such as Helicobacter pylori.
A number of studies have shown that cranberries protect cardiovascular system and liver. Their anti-inflammatory benefits are excellent for oral health, mouth and gums, stomach and colon. Regular use of cranberries lowers the risk of periodontal disease unwanted inflammation in the stomach, large intestine, and linings of the blood vessels.
Antioxidants and anti-inflammatory
Cranberry antioxidants and anti-inflammatory phytonutrients play a key role in cranberry's cardiovascular benefits. The same beneficial compounds are able to boost the immune system and make people less susceptible to colds and various infections. Antioxidants are especially good, since they fight against free radicals and may even prevent certain types of cancer. Scientific studies have even established a link between cranberries and breast, colon, lung, and prostate cancer.